'The Village': Dominic Chianese as the sassy but loving grandfather Enzo is already winning hearts
The 88-year-old actor plays the role of Enzo Napolitano, who moves from a nursing home to living with his grandson, is the most endearing character of NBC's new family drama
The audience is warming up towards NBC's 'The Village,' after being perpetually compared to 'This Is Us,' which follows a similar theme- family. However, instead of one family, 'The Village,' centers around the residents of a Brooklyn building. With the pilot airing on March 19, the reaction of the audience proved that the show was much more than what was assumed and the cast including Michaela McManus, Lorraine Toussaint, Warren Christie, Moran Atias, Frankie Faison, Jerod Haynes, Grace Van Dien, Daren Kagasoff, and Dominic Chianese were quick to win hearts, particularly the character of Enzo Napolitano, played by Chianese.
The 88-year-old veteran actor, best known for playing Corrado "Uncle Junior" Soprano on the HBO series "The Sopranos," for which he was nominated for Emmy Awards in 2000 and 2001, appears as Gabe's grandfather at a nursing home being taken care of by McManus' character, Sarah.
Our first meeting with Enzo is a heartbreaking introduction as he loses his best friend and a roommate at the nursing house in the pilot itself. Heartbroken as he may be, that does not stop Enzo from living his life as colorfully as possible. Wise, soulful and naughty, Enzo robs his grandson of his credit card just to catch a drink with his friends from the nursing home.
On reaching the bar, where the protagonist, Nick Porter is chatting with the building superintendent, Ron, Enzo, and his friends show up and instantly salute Nick on discovering that he is an ex-military sergeant. "Thank you for your service, Sergeant," he says and instantly wins Nick's heart along with ours. When Gabe comes to take back his credit card from Enzo, Nick gives him his, since Enzo's wish is to go to an amusement park with his friends.
'The Village,' which is a quite saccharine show, has brought joy and smiles, thanks to Enzo's character. Despite being the oldest character on the show that features a wide range of cast members, Enzo can arguably be the brightest of the lot.
In episode 2, which aired recently on March 26, we saw him at his sassy best, when he vocally told Gabe that his girlfriend is no good. Gabe quickly realizes the honest and true judgment of his grandfather and dumps his girlfriend to get his grandfather home, to live with him.
In just two episodes, Chianese has managed to warm our hearts with his character, that we cannot wait to see where it will go next.
No stranger to making us fall in love, Chianese has had a career in music, film, stage and television spanning across six decades. He made his acting debut with 'American Savoyards' in 1952 at the off-Broadway Jan Hus Theater, that led to his first professional U.S. tour in Gilbert and Sullivan's 'The Mikado' and 'Patience.' He began his film career in 1972 with 'Fuzz' and soon after landed the role of Johnny Ola in the Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece 'The Godfather: Part II.' And now with his latest NBC television character, he's not only replacing the gun he used to carry in 'The Sopranos' with stolen credit cards but also creating more iconic roles to cherish.
Here's how a Twitter user said it right.
In addition to This Is Us, there’s another great show now on NBC... and there’s even a character named ENZO - so you know I was hooked immediately! Loved the pilot of The Village tonight! ❤️ https://t.co/eekt4xAafU— Lisa Amore (@lamore) March 20, 2019